Colts vs. Cardinals: Madden predicts a defensive win for Arizona

USA TODAY Sports

Arizona picks up a convincing win in the video game simulation.

Madden 25 has a good track record of predicting winners in the Play Now mode, but luckily last week Madden was wrong and the Cardinals came out of Jacksonville on a three game winning streak and are in the playoff hunt. This week, the Cardinals defense is the star of the show keeping Andrew Luck and his Colts out of the end zone until the fourth quarter perpetuating the talk that Arizona is a tough place for opposing QBs to play.

This week Madden predicts Patrick Peterson will return the first punt of the game back for a 63 yard touchdown opening the game up with an early lead. While in real life Peterson hasn't been able to do much in his special teams role, it would be very nice for him to break off a long run and make other teams take notice leading into the final stretch before the playoffs. What a great time for him to get hot with punt returns, if possible.

Carson Palmer and Andrew Luck's stats are very similar, both played great games 90+ QB ratings and one touchdown each with no interceptions, and they both threw for similar yardage (254 Palmer, 264 Luck). The difference is how each team performed in the red zone. The Cardinals did their best to keep the Colts just outside of field goal range in the simulation and really tightened up in the red zone. Unfortunately, there were no INTs.

Finally, both teams rushing attacks continued to be mediocre. Mendenhall rushed 19 times for 57 yards and one TD, while former first round pick Trent Richardson rushed 15 times for 24 yards against Arizona's tough run defense.

Being a Cardinals homer I can only hope that the defense is able to keep Luck in control for the game, and that the Offense comes out hot with two touchdowns in the first half, and a ST touchdown would certainly help as well.

The question for this game is how well the Cardinals defense will handle the Colts TEs who Luck loves to use for check downs. They've done very well in the past couple of games, let's see if they can continue that streak after giving up career days to Vernon Davis and Jared Cook early in the season.

Top Performers:

Cardinals:

QB: Carson Palmer 21/33 (63%) 254 yards, 1 TDs, 97.3 Rating

WR: Michael Floyd 6 rec, 99 yards, 0 TD, 16.5 avg

RB: Rashard Mendenhall 19 att, 57yards, 3.0 avg, 1 TD

D/ST: Daryl Washington 9 solo tackles

Colts:

QB: Andrew Luck 27/41 (65%) 264 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 75.9 Rating

WR: Darius Heyward-Bey 5 rec, 69 yards, 1 TD 13.8 avg

RB: Trent Richardson 15 att, 24 yards, 1.5 avg

D/ST: Jerrell Freeman 10 solo tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack

Box Score

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Final

Colts

0

3

0

8

11

Cardinals

14

7

3

3

27

Teams

Colts

Cardinals

Total Off.

305

314

Rushing

41

60

Passing

264

254

First

15

14

PR

4

82

KR

27

0

3rd Conv%

4-14(28%)

7-16(43%)

4th Conv%

1-1(100%)

0-0(0%)

2-Point Conv

1-1(100%)

0-0(0%)

Red Zone

1-2(50%)

2-3(66%)

Turnover

0(0)

0(0)

With how balanced each team was it came down to execution and possibly home field advantage. This would awaken a lot of people to Arizona's potential if they were able to win in this fashion. This would be a very entertaining game for Cardinals fans to watch!

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